Authorities: Border patrol supervisor tried to ‘commit suicide by cop'

Monday afternoon Webb County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Federico Garza identified 3 of the 4 victims investigators believe were murdered by U.S. Border Patrol supervisor Juan David Ortiz: 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez, 42-year-old Claudine Luera and 28-year-old Humberto Ortiz.  

Garza says the crucial point in the case came Friday, September 14 after 9 p.m. when Ortiz stopped at a gas station. A woman escaped from his car.

“She tried to get away once then tried to get away twice. And what I understand on the second attempt she was able to jump out through the door, run towards the lights where a DPS trooper was gassing up at the time,” Garza said.

Garza says Ortiz went home.

“He was loading up all of his weapons thinking that DPS was going to confront him and he was looking at a confrontation. Thank God that didn’t happen,” Garza said.

Early the next morning Ortiz was taken into custody in a hotel parking lot. 

“What he was going to do he was trying to commit suicide by cop. He tried to use his phone to try to make it look like it was a weapon. Didn’t happen. He was apprehended without incident,” Garza said.  

Neither law enforcement or the District Attorney would say if all victims were sex workers 

“This is a community of people that are vulnerable. Whether it be because of alcohol, substance abuse, drug addiction or prostitution,” said Webb County DA Isidro Alaniz

But Alaniz pointed out the crimes were carried out the same way. Executing the victims in a desolate part of the county.

“He is currently charged with 4 counts of murder. 1 count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint,” he said.

“I will tell you that Mr. Ortiz has been placed on an indefinite suspension, unpaid suspension, at this point and we have been and will continue to cooperate with all of the investigative parties,” said US Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost.

Aside from figuring out why Ortiz did what he did, the next step is determine whether to escalate the murder charge to capital.